Questions about the M1 Garand.


Spec ops Grunt
May 13, 2006, 09:47 PM
I would like one for a first rifle and I have some questions.

How easy is it to maintain. ?

What's the average price?

Is there any hunting ammo for it?

What ammo should I use in it?

Besides CMP, where else can you get one?

How lefty friendly is it?

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May 13, 2006, 10:01 PM
Grunt, I'm just waiting for my C&R to arrive before ordering one from CMP. From all the research I've done, you're gonna get the best value, best quality, and best service from CMP. From what I've seen online, you'll pay anywhere from $200-$300 more for a comparable rifle at either an auction site or a brick and mortar shop.

My understanding is that most states limit hunting rifles to 5-round magazines, and while 5 round en-bloc clips do exist, your local regulations and Fish & Wildlife folks may have problems with the fact that the rifle is capable of carrying 8 rounds, regardless of how many rounds are actually loaded.

Hunting ammo can be found a-plenty, it's a .30-06 caliber. My understanding is that this rifle will digest pretty much any .30-06 ammunition

CMP has rifles priced from $400 to $1400+, depends on the grade and manufacturer. As I said though, my limited research has found that on average, prices at other places are significantly higher.

As far as lefty-friendly, I'm not so certain. Depending on the particular angle that each rifle ejects brass and the en-bloc, it seems you'd run a real risk of catching one or the other square in the face.

May 13, 2006, 10:05 PM
Regular maintainence of an M1 can be accomplished with a cleaning rod and related accessories. For detail cleaning of the gas system, the GI combo tool or the gas cylinder and plug wrenches the CMP sells are helpful.

The CMP posts their prices on their website. The price on a service grade just went up to $550 starting today.

There have been previous discussions about ammo for the M1, but many commercial .30-06 hunting loads are too hot and may bend the op rod. Best to stick with M2 ball or commercial loads with 150 gr. bullets.

If you're a lefty, it may be a good idea to replace the 50+ year-old springs in the bolt with fresh parts. A weak ejector spring can send the brass in your face, and not the 2 o'clock direction as it is supposed to.

May 13, 2006, 10:07 PM
1. Easier than most semi auto rifles to maintain.
Field stripping one looks more complicated than it actually is and you will get pretty fast at field stripping a Garand with a few hands on sessions.
Easy to clean but because you can't clean from the breech to the muzzle I prefer a pull through type over a solid rod. Bore Snake is my choice but there are several pull through cleaners available.

2.Average price for a mixed part rifle with a good, shootable bore on the commercial market is $750.00.
CMP is still the best and cheapest place to buy an M1.

3.I like Winchester 150 grain PowerPoint and 165 Ballistic Silvertip for hunting ammunition.
The stuff works just fine in my rifles.

4. Standard Mil-Spec M2 ball ammunition is best for everyday shooting.
Buy the stuff by the case from the CMP.
Some mail order suppliers have some pretty good buys if you shop carefully.

5.Gunshows and specialty gunshops abound with M1 rifles.
Bring your checkbook and somebody who has some knowledge about M1 rifles and you can stumble across some very decent rifles at very decent prices.

Avoid Century Arms, Federal Arms, anything that has a non Mil-Spec receiver and marking.
These rifles tend to be more trouble than they are worth.

6.The M1 was designed to be functional by right or left hand shooters.
The design isn't perfect but most rifles won't throw brass back into your face either.
Safety and operating rod can be easily manipulated by a left hand shooter.

These rifles remain one of the best semiautomatic designs ever produced.
Even today they are a viable field, combat, and hunting weapon.

May 14, 2006, 07:53 AM
Hunting ammo can be found a-plenty, it's a .30-06 caliber. My understanding is that this rifle will digest pretty much any .30-06 ammunition

Sorry, but your understanding is wrong. The M1 rifles gas system is ammo sensitive. The gas system was designed to operate with milspec ammo having a specific pressure range as the bullet passes the gas port.

Commercial 30-06 ammo is made primarily with turnbolt rifles in mind and does not take this sensitiviity of the M1 rifle into account. Most commercial ammo has a gas port pressure that is above the M1's design spec. How FAR above the spec is unknown (and unknowable) because commercial ammo makers use commercial bulk lot powders that vary in burn rate from lot to lot, simply varying the charge weight to acheive MV spec for whatever they are loading with it.

Shooting small amounts of some kinds of hunting ammo may not cause immediate damage to the M1, but over time and rounds probably will. Stuff to specifically avoid is ANYTHING that is marked "lite magnum", "plus P", and etc.... Ammo that is intentionally loaded with very slow burning powder to get the highest MV possible from the bullet used. This is fine in a turnbolt but pure poison to an M1. Reports are extant of these loads breaking an M1 op-rod with only ONE shot fired.

I own many M1's. I shoot only military M2 spec ammo or my own handloads. If and when I hunt with an M1 I load my own. If you wish to do so, the two "rules" given by the Springfield Army tech weenies way back in the 50's to the NRA for M1 gas system safe loads are:

1) NEVER shoot bullets HEAVIER than 180 grains.
2) NEVER shoot powder that is SLOWER than IMR-4320

For referrence, M2 spec military ammo is a 147-152 grain bullet over mil-spec 4895 powder (IMR and H 4895 are close enough). The perennial M1 target load for the last half century is a 168-175 grain match bullet over IMR-4064 powder.

Best to all,

Garands forever

owner Swampworks Inc. / JLK Bullets

Spec ops Grunt
May 14, 2006, 02:01 PM
Is the only way to get M2 is from CMP?

How much of the M2 ammo is unsusable?

How easy is it to meet the requrments of the CMP?

What grade and brand?

What should I check for in a used M1?

May 14, 2006, 02:27 PM
Is the only way to get M2 is from CMP?
Korean made M2 is available from many importers.

How much of the M2 ammo is unsusable?
???? Don't understand your question. The M1 shoots M2 spec ammo. If it's M2 spec, the M1 can shoot it.

How easy is it to meet the requrments of the CMP?
Go to:

What grade and brand?
Service Grade gives you the best chance for a good barrel and a decent shooter.

What should I check for in a used M1?
Tight muzzle, shiny bore, sharp lands, low Throat erosion (gauge needed), tight fitting buttstock, proper function (you'll have to shoot it to be sure). Buying a used M1 without shooting it is like buying a used car without driving it..... especially if you don't know anything about them. Take somebody with you who does know the M1. Lotsa' shysters at the gunshows trying to sell $300 Rack Grades for $700-$900.

My advice: Buy a Service Grade from the CMP.

Best to all,

Garands forever

May 14, 2006, 02:37 PM
PMC makes new M2 spec ammo.

Spec ops Grunt
May 14, 2006, 02:58 PM
I mean how much of the ammo is dented or otherwise unusable?

Also, is there any cosmoline on CMP M1s that needs to be removed?

May 14, 2006, 03:18 PM
+1 on buing a Garand from CMP. I bought an HRA Service grade last year. Great rifle. My only problem is that I have haven't shot it as much as I would like.

The CMP customer requirements are pretty easy to meet. My CHL class provided the shooting activity requirement and my membership with the Texas State Rifle Association satisfied the other one. There is a Garand Collector's Association that is easy to join as well.

Once you buy a rifle through CMP, you can access their online ordering on their website and order ammo and accessories. I think you will find that their Lake City and Greek ammo are some of the best quality ammo you can get for the price. I have had no misfires with my Lake City stuff. The greek comes on 8 round strippers also.

May 14, 2006, 03:26 PM
I have bought a case of Lake City ammo from CMP. All the ammo was in good condition and I have had no problems with it at all. I could say the same for the Korean ammo I have as well. The Lake City ammo came in 20 round boxes packed in ammo cans.

You will have to clean some Cosmoline off the M1, but I didn't have to clean a great deal off mine. It forces you to take apart the rifle and clean every part and learn a little about how it works. I had far more on the 1903A3 I bought. You just have to spray down and wipe down the entire rifle. I would suggest getting some shop towels you can throw away as well as q-tips and toothpicks, and old tooth brushes. Brake cleaner is supposed to work okay as well.

I would second the suggestion above that you get replacement springs. I have a 2nd Garand that I bought second hand several years ago. I had a lot of problems with failure to eject or failure to feed. I put a new stainless op rod spring in it and it functions flawlessly now. I need to get some spring parts for the bolt as well.

As with other rifles, there are web sites that give detailed instructions on taking apart the M1 and putting it back together again. The CMP has links on their site.

May 14, 2006, 03:27 PM
These sites may answer some questions.

Livin in Texas

Spec ops Grunt
May 14, 2006, 07:43 PM
Best way to remove Cosmoline?

Where can you get En Bloc clips and ejector springs?

What is the rifle's weight?

How good are the sights?

May 14, 2006, 08:50 PM
Kerosene outside in the fresh air is still the best and cheapest way to remove cosmoline.
Try this place for enblocs and ejector springs.
or this place,
Excellent folks to deal with and decent prices.
Quick shipping too.
9-11 pounds depends on the density of the wood, diameter of the barrel, and a few other little issues.
Sights are some of the best ever placed on a combat rifle.

Are you writing a book or wanting to buy a rifle?
These things are good weapons, just buy one,,,,,,

Spec ops Grunt
May 14, 2006, 08:54 PM
I'm buying.

Done with questions too. Mods are free to shut down thread whenever they want to.

May 14, 2006, 09:38 PM

There is a CMP sanctioned J C Garand match in Galena KS at the Joplin R&P club next Saturday morning, May 20th. That's only about 100 miles straight up I-44 from you. Go there and see what an M1 can do. They do have loaner rifles for newbies. Shoot this match and you will be qualified to buy an M1 from the CMP...... or just go to watch and get an eyeful.

I know the guy running the event and he's a good M1 shooter. He habitually comes in SECOND PLACE to me at all the JCG events here in Springfield MO. :D

Due to a conflict I can't make his match but if you are interested let me know and I'll put you in touch with him.

Best regards,

Garands forever

owner Swampworks Mfg. / JLK Bullets

April 14, 2011, 12:14 AM
Hello everyone.
I recently picked up a garand from an estate sale. unfortunately the previous owner passed away so my history on this is very limited. The rifle itself was supposedly rebuilt by Springfield Armory. (again im eternally skeptical) When I took it to the range it went squirrelly on me. By that I mean it would either double fire or when it would fire the trigger wouldn't catch, thus having me have to recock the rifle. Im hoping it might be bad ammo, but I figure Id ask the experts.
Any insight is greatly appreciated

Tim the student
April 14, 2011, 09:28 AM
IamLegion, welcome to THR. You will probably have more success if you start your own thread on your problem.

M1s were rebuilt plenty - it is possible that it was rebuilt from time to time. What markings are on your gun? I believe all rebuild marks are on the legs of the receiver. If you post pics of any markings on your rifle (in your new thread :)) we can tell you what they mean.

If it doubled, I'd bet you were probably milking the trigger.

What do you mean the trigger wouldn't catch?

I doubt it was bad ammo, but what ammo were you using?

smithman 10
April 14, 2011, 06:12 PM
One way to avoid damage to the op rod with non-mil spec ammo is to get an adjustable gas system from Brownells (see below)

You get a gas lock and 5 different diameter gas jet inserts. Just leave the inserts out and let the gas go out the front. Then work the action manually, just like you would a bolt gun.

If you're hunting you don't really need a semi-auto.

Problem solved, you should be able to use any commercially made .30-06 hunting ammo with no ill effects since the op rod won't be moving!

When you're back at the range shooting mil-spec, put the original gas lock back in.

Spec ops Grunt
April 16, 2011, 01:53 PM
Old thread is old.

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